Naomi Shihab Nye’s poetry is filled with love, sensitivity, and compassion. Her work has been a source of solace and inspiration to me for years. So I was thrilled when she was announced as the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture on Monday during the ALA’s Youth Media Awards Announcements. The Arbuthnot Award recognizes “an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site.” I can’t think of a more appropriate choice to share her insights and wisdom in our troubled times.
by Naomi Shihab Nye
We made it from the ground-up corn in the old back pasture.
Pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence,
popped it right in.
That frog song wanting nothing but echo?
We used that.
Stirred it widely. Noticed the clouds while stirring.
Called upon our ancient great aunts and their long slow eyes
of summer. Dropped in their names.
Added a mint leaf now and then
to hearten the broth. Added a note of cheer and worry.
Read the rest of the poem here.
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18 thoughts on “Poetry Friday Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Truth Serum””
Every word is gorgeous, colorful and scented with talent.
“the sorrow lifted in small ways”
Naomi’s words are healing and everwise. Thank you, Catherine.
.”We washed the pan.” Hope. Every word in this is exquisite. Thank you.
Catherine, I have gratitude in my heart for Naomi’s words and for you showcasing them.
And once we had it,
had smelled and tasted the fragrant syrup,
placing the pan on a back burner for keeping,
the sorrow lifted in small ways.
Her poems teach us with every line, don’t they? Thanks for this, Catherine. It is wonderful.
This is absolutely gorgeous.
Yes, and wow. Love the recipe format :).
That is an incredible poem. I’ve copied and saved that one. Thanks for sharing
I love the hope in this poem. Nye is an incredible poet and person.
Have you ever met her in real life? This woman is a force of gentleness. Like this poem she wrote, she will boil it all down and wash the pot and welcome you back for more.
Naomi’s poetry is everything. Thanks for sharing this one.
Let’s make up a pan (or two or twenty thousand) and send it to Washington.
Yes! Thank you, Catherine! Hope is the orange butterfly between claps of thunder. xo
Naomi never fails to touch my heart. Thank you for posting this, Catherine!
Each line is dripping with truth. Thank you, Catherine for sharing this work of art from a true master poet.
I just LOVE her work. This one is new to me. I’m saving it to read again.
Thanks Catherine, for sharing “Truth Serum.” Wish we could boil out more of the lies, we’ve lot’s of work to do, glad to have her soothing words!
There are so many little moments and images in this poem. The great aunts — yes, I can see them. Amazing that this poem was published in 2005. It could be about now.